Hide and Seek—didn’t you love that game when you were growing up? My kids also loved to play when they were younger. We would play in the house, hiding in closets and showers, quietly trying not to be found. Once, my daughter hid so well that it took me a long time to find her. When I finally saw a little toe sticking out from under a sweatshirt crumpled on the closet floor, she was sound asleep.
Now they have gotten too mature and too tall to want to hide behind the door or under the bed. For the under-20-but-older-than-12 crowd, the game is still fun, but it has a tougher name now…Manhunt. No longer are the 1100 square feet of the house an adequate challenge. These days, on the rare occasion that they play, the local neighborhood is the playing field. (Heaven only knows what the neighbors think!) There is just something special about the challenge of finding something hidden that is fun.
As grownups, most of us probably don’t spend our time playing Hide and Seek anymore, but we still often find ourselves searching for something we’d like to find. These days we are searching for ideas, answers, and solutions to the many challenges that life brings our way. These days we are searching for peace in the midst of a crazy world. These days we are searching for strategies to maintain health and increase wealth. Because we are human, we will always be searching for something, even if it is as cliché’ as the “greener grass” just out of reach.
This desire to find something of value, a treasure of lasting significance, has been woven into the fabric of our being.
God put it there so we would seek Him.
” … seek the LORD your God, and you will find Him if you search for Him with all your heart and all your soul…
In this verse, the word seek is both an action and an attitude, meaning to search out, especially in worship or prayer. Noticing repetition and looking up a key word can add a lot to your quiet time. As I reflect on this verse, I notice that the action of seeking or searching comes up twice, meaning that it is an important idea. The word search comes from the word dârash: to tread or frequent; usually to follow (for pursuit or search); by implication to seek or ask; specifically to worship.
I am not trying to bore you with a dictionary drill, but I am struck by the motivation and intention expressed in these words. The most important part of this verse is in God’s promise to be found. Seeking God is the pathway to the heart of intimacy with God. As I reflect on this, I see that God invites us into relationship. He also invites us to participate in the process of our own spiritual growth. When I seek with a desire to know more of God, he promises to be found. This is not a one-time occurrence. I can seek and keep seeking, regularly desiring to know God more.
There is a small word that stands out to me…all. How am I to seek? With ALL of my heart and ALL of my soul. It is so easy to half-heartedly go through the motions, rushing to wrap up one task and move on the next, isn’t it. It is easy to be busy, but disengaged; active, but distracted. To me, this verse is a call to mentally slow down and give God my full attention and sincere desire to know him. This verse is God’s call for me to recognize the great value and necessity of His presence in my life. The interesting thing is that the more I find Him, the more I desire to seek Him for I am filled with treasure that is found in knowing God.
Here are a few other jewels from Scripture that encourage me to seek God :
- Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened. Matthew 7:7-8 (NASB)
- Starting from scratch, he made the entire human race and made the earth hospitable, with plenty of time and space for living so we could seek after God, and not just grope around in the dark but actually find him. He doesn’t play hide-and-seek with us. He’s not remote; he’s near. We live and move in him, can’t get away from him! Acts 17:26-27 The Message
- O God, You are my God; I shall seek You earnestly; My soul thirsts for You, my flesh yearns for You, In a dry and weary land where there is no water. Psalm 63:1 (NASB)
In every game of hide and seek, there is the joy of anticipation. I am challenged to seek God with an excitement of discovery. I see that I have a choice in how I act, and in which game I choose to play. I can seek and find, or I can hide, hoping no one will see me. Rather than try and hide myself from my God who knows everything about me anyway, I choose put my energy into seeking more of Him.
Try using these tools as you read Scripture and seek God:
1. Look up definitions of key words.
2. Notice repetition of words or ideas. Repetition signals an important concept.
3. Pay attention to small, but important words such as all, no, always, never, so that…
4. Listen to Kari Jobe’s song, The More I Seek You